Wellesley Police Officers teamed up with the Natick Police Department to capture two suspects after a shoplifting occurred at the Thunder Sports in Wellesley Square on Tuesday June 23, 2009. Wellesley Police Dispatchers Rob Rowe and Kevin Lewis received a call from an employee at Thunder who reported that two males had just shoplifted several hundred dollars worth of merchandise. While obtaining a description of the suspects via phone, Dispatchers Lewis and Rowe sent Officers Frank Masiello and Matt Farwell to the scene.
The employee from Thunder was able to provide a description of both the suspects and the vehicle that they used to flee. Officers Masiello and Farwell began searching the Wellesley Square area. Unable to immediately locate the suspects, Officer Masiello returned to Thunder to obtain a more detailed description from the employees and continue his investigation. Officer Masiello learned that two suspects had entered the store and spent some time browsing. The pair collected several logo shirts, each one valued at $54 dollars. When the employees were distracted by other customers, the suspects then fled out the front door with the merchandise concealed.
Meanwhile, Dispatchers Lewis and Rowe broadcast a description of the suspects and the vehicle to the surrounding cities and towns. Within minutes, Officer Ronald Richardson from the Natick Police Department spotted a vehicle traveling on Route 9 West in Natick. The vehicle and the occupants inside matched the description that had been previously provided. Officer Richardson stopped the vehicle and notified Wellesley Police. Officers Masiello and Farwell, along with the Thunder employee, immediately responded to the scene in Natick. The suspects were identified by the employee as the individuals who had stolen the merchandise.
Officer Masiello and Natick Officer Richardson placed the two individuals under arrest and subsequently located the stolen shirts hidden in laundry bags inside the vehicle. The shirts were still on the hangers and had the tags still on them. These items were also identified by the Thunder employee. Both suspects were transported back to the Wellesley Police Department Central Booking and Intake Facility (CBIF).
While being booked at CBIF, one of the suspects gave a false name and date of birth to the officers. However, when the suspects fingerprints were transmitted electronically from CBIF to the FBI's NCIC National Fingerprint database, his true identify was revealed. Within 20 minutes, Officer Masiello learned that the suspect had given a false name, had two felony warrants for his arrest, and was in the United States illegally. With the help of Officer Chris Cunningham and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an immigration detainer was placed on this subject. Members of ICE will then review the circumstances with this subject and he will most likely he will be deported from the United States. The suspect has previously been deported from the United States.
The second suspect was also booked and his identify confirmed via fingerprints. The second suspect was held on $750 dollars bail, which was set by Dedham District Court. The pair will be arraigned on Wednesday at Dedham District Court.
Teamwork in the communications center and a quick, efficient investigation in the field coupled with cooperative employees from Thunder resulted in the suspects being apprehended before they could potentially commit other crimes.
The suspects were identified as Joseph Strazzulla from Border Street in East Boston and Mansour Belbachir from Linden Street in Everett.
Other Wellesley Police Department Items From the Past 24 Hours:
The Wellesley Police Department had approximately 125 calls for service or police initiated activity in the last 24 hours. Of those, 61 were traffic related, being either traffic stops for motor vehicle violations or neighborhood traffic enforcement. 5 motor vehicle accidents were investigated by the department. 2 arrests were made, and 4 people were summonsed into court for other violations. The department also responded to 7 alarm calls and 7 medical emergency calls.
Some of these incidents included:
Sergeant Scott Whittemore assisted Dover Police with a one car crash on Junction Street in Dover. While on his way in to work the midnight shift, Sergeant Whittemore was surprised to find a vehicle that had crashed into a telephone pole on the quiet street in Dover. The sole driver in the crash was not injured but was shaken up. His vehicle was blocking the road, however. Sgt. Whittemore assisted the driver, while Wellesley Police dispatchers notified Dover PD of the crash. The Dover and Wellesley Police Departments have a 'mutual aid' agreement, which allows officers from both departments full police powers in either Dover or Wellesley when on duty.
Officer Christopher Fritts investigated a two car crash during the evening commute on Washington Street near Dover Road. Although no one was hurt, the crash impacted traffic westbound on Washington Street. Wellesley College Police Sergeant Bruce Whitney, and Officer Jesse Gomez provided some timely assistance. The Wellesley College officers directed traffic around the crash, and an unrelated fallen tree, while Officer Fritts investigated the crash.
Deputy Chief Brooks and Chief Cunningham gave a guided tour of the Wellesley Police Station to members of the Wellesley Rotary Club Tuesday evening. The Chief and Deputy Chief showed the Rotarians everything from the busy communications center to the booking and jail cell area. They were also given a close look of a Wellesley Police cruiser. During the tour the Chief and Deputy Chief answered questions and talked about being a police officer in Wellesley.